Harvey Mason started playing the drums when was four years old. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and later he earned a degree in education at the New England Conservatory. He worked with pianists Erroll Garner, Goerge Shearing, and Jan Hammer before moving to Los Angeles in 1971. In LA, he worked as a studio musician playing a variety of music, including jazz, pop/rock, and orchestral.
Throughout his career, Mason has played with a wide range of bandleaders and musicians, including Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Gunther Schuller, Donald Byrd, Gerry Mulligan, Grover Washington, George Benson, and Lee Ritenour. He is known for his clear, strong rhythm playing, which is evident in Herbie Hancock's 1973 release Headhunters.